Just a short message today, but a vital one – especially as students find this topic very confusing. Luckily it can be very easily explained.
When you first hear the terms prokaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell, it’s bound to cause a headache.
What do these hugely complicated and difficult words mean?
Well, I am happy to report that it is not complicated, and that these words mean simple things.
Eukaryotic cells AKA Eukaryotes
The word euk means having a true nucleus. All animal and plant cells have a nucleus, meaning animal and plant cells are eukaryotes. The plants in your garden are eukaryotes, your pets are eukaryotes, you are a eukaryote, even a slug is a eukaryote!
Prokaryotic cells AKA Prokaryotes
The word pro means first or before. Just think prototype. The first version of an invention. A prokaryote is the first type of cell that existed. It is less advanced and less complicated than a eukaryote and lacks a true nucleus. An example of a prokaryote is E.Coli!
The -ote part of the word comes from the word zygote, meaning first cell formed in an organism.
The following picture shows you the differences:
The following table shows the differences in words:
Take a look at the great video from the guys at Ricochet Science for more detail: